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Transforming Futures: The impact of CLA’s Donation to The Children’s Literacy Charity


Text "We are hugely grateful for the Copyright and Licensing Agency’s generous support. Over the year it enabled 1046 children to gain vital literacy skills." on a navy background with the The Children’s Literacy Charity logo

The Copyright Licensing Agency generously donated to The Children’s Literacy Charity, enabling the support of 1,046 children in gaining essential literacy skills. At CLA, we are committed to upholding fair compensation for creators and rightsholders while supporting the UK’s creative economy. As part of our dedication to this mission, we implemented a ‘Policy for Undistributed Amounts,’ ensuring unclaimed royalties are directed towards meaningful initiatives within the creative community.

Post pandemic the UK is continuing to face a huge literacy challenge. The skills gap is apparent at just five years old, where even before the pandemic, our poorest children were starting primary school 4.6 months behind their better-off peers in language and vocabulary and struggling to catch up from then on.

Currently, 57% of children from disadvantaged backgrounds leave primary school without reaching the expected levels in literacy and maths. We believe that every child deserves the best possible start in life, and that language, communication and literacy are vital routes to boost children’s life chances and unlock their full potential in education and employment. With your support we have made this a reality for over 450 children through our Literacy Lab and Reading Lab programmes and we can’t thank you enough!


2022-23 in Review

Overall, over the academic year (2022-23), as a charity we supported 1046 pupils through a range of programmes. Of these, 246 were supported through our expert Literacy Lab programme across 12 primary schools in disadvantaged areas of London and Manchester. We helped these children to reduce their literacy gap and gain essential literacy skills, as well as increased confidence and self-esteem.

With more children needing support as a result of the pandemic and cost of living crisis, we continued to develop our new 10-week intensive catch-up programme Reading Labs for key stage 2 children (aged 7-11) who have fallen significantly behind age-related expectations. This reading and reading comprehension catch-up programme was designed to give children a much-needed boost before they make the transition to secondary school. Over the year we delivered 1,500 tuition sessions benefitting 227 children.

In addition, we supported 572 children through our Reader Leader mentoring programme in secondary schools where older children are trained to become reading mentors for their younger peers.


How CLA’s donation has been used

The funding from the CLA helped us to provide our Literacy Lab and Reading Lab interventions benefitting 473 children.

Literacy Lab

Across the year we supported 12 primary schools in areas of economic and educational deprivation, benefitting 246 children and providing 9,188 literacy sessions. The teaching model we use is a holistic, multi-sensory, phonics-based programme that focuses on all aspects of literacy: reading, writing, comprehension, speaking and listening. The charity believes this form of phonics-based literacy intervention gives those children who are most behind a crucial and potentially life changing step up.

Key to the children’s success is the supportive relationship they develop with their literacy tutor. Each child on the programme has two, 45-minute, 1:1 or small group literacy sessions per week with their tutor over the academic year.

We work closely with our school partners and their special educational needs coordinators to identify the children most in need.

The children supported through our literacy labs have often fallen as much as two years behind in their education. The barriers to their learning include:

      • Coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, lack of support at home and/or chaotic home lives/ disrupted school attendance
      • Parents and carers who themselves have poor literacy skills
      • English as an additional language
      • Special educational needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or mild autism

Of the 246 children supported through our Literacy Lab programme in 2022/23;

      • 45% were eligible for Free School Meals (FSM)/Pupil Premium (PP) funding compared to the national average of 25%. These markers indicate the level of socioeconomic disadvantage being experienced by these children and their families.
      • 50% spoke English as an Additional Language (EAL) versus the national average of 21%. For the children we support, who often come from disadvantaged families, speaking EAL may be a barrier to literacy development in English.
      • 27% had a Special Educational Need (SEN) versus the national average of 2.9%. Having some form of SEN is also seen as being a significant learning barrier.

As shown by the statistics above, the children were experiencing significantly higher levels of socioeconomic and educational disadvantage than the national average.

Outcomes Literacy Lab

Assessments are undertaken by each child when they join the programme and at the end of each term as they move through our intervention so we can continually monitor their progress and identify areas of literacy which need more support allowing us to adapt our interventions as required. We record scores based on standardised tests for phonics, reading, comprehension and benchmark writing and spelling against national curriculum expectations.

Of the 246 children supported through our expert Literacy Lab programme in 12 schools in 2022/23, 135 children graduated during the academic year making following impressive gains: – 87% of graduates narrowed their reading age gap to within age-related expectations, whilst 73% closed it completely. On average they were 10 months behind at initial assessment and 6 months ahead at graduation having made over 4.5 months progress in reading and reading comprehension for each month on the programme and making an average of 24 months progress in reading overall.

Reading Lab

Over the year we were delivered 15 Reading Labs in London across nine schools, providing 1,500 expert tuition sessions. Reading Lab supports pupils who are struggling with literacy and working below age-related expectations through an intensive 10-week catch-up intervention. The programme is designed to boost pupils reading skills before the transition to secondary school a point at which many disadvantaged children fall further behind.

Reading Lab supports children in years 4, 5 and 6 who need more individual support, in particular for reading comprehension and vocabulary development in a small group environment which allows them to flourish. The programme aims to narrow their literacy gap, by developing their reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary skills, whilst at the same time building their confidence and enthusiasm for reading. Of the children who benefitted from Reading Lab;

      • 51% were eligible for Free School Meals (FSM)/47% Pupil Premium (PP)
      • 61% spoke English as an Additional Language (EAL)
      • 22% had a Special Educational Need (SEN) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or autism).
Outcomes Reading Lab

Children were assessed at the start and end of the 10-week programme using the PIRA (Progress in Reading Assessment) reading comprehension test. On average children attending our 10-week Reading Lab programme make six months progress in their reading age in just 10 weeks.

Your support has made a huge difference to the lives of the children we work with as a good grasp of literacy helps pave the way for a future of greater educational attainment, increased life choices and improved social mobility.

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